A Breath of Fresh Air

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Really? Give thanks in all situations?

I was sitting in the emergency room; my knee was about twice its normal size and throbbing with pain.

Earlier that day I was out for a run. I stepped off a curb and felt something pop in my knee. I finished my run with very little discomfort. Gradually the swelling and pain set in.

I was attending a conference when this happened. In the first session of the day, a lady that had spent time in Africa told a very entertaining story of how she learned to be thankful in circumstances that she did not like. My thought was, “What a cute story.”

Sitting in emergency, my thoughts turned to how unhappy I was about my knee, about a work assignment that I did not like, and about the contrary nature of my ministry director. Then I remembered the story I had heard earlier in the day. It was as if God was saying, “Remember the story? Remember my command to give thanks in all circumstances?” In that moment, this was not what I wanted to hear! It took time but finally I started to acknowledge that I could trust in God’s love and that he would work all these things together for good (Romans 8:28).

As a faith step, I started to thank God for the work assignment, my director, and even my painful knee. My mind turned from my disappointment with the circumstances to anticipation. I began to anticipate what God might be doing, on what his purposes were and how he might use each of these in my life.

What freedom, when I experienced the release from disappointment to anticipation! In that moment, through giving thanks I felt like I had stepped from a hot stuffy room into fresh air!

God, your command to give thanks moves me from a focus on disappointment to a place of anticipation. I know you love me and can cause all things to work together for good. Thank you! Amen.

Ponder this question: Is there anything happening in your life that requires the “give thanks” step of faith?

By Mike Woodard
Used by Permission

We Welcome your comments.

Enter Email

Further Reading

This Place of Love

The Almighty

•  Salvation Explained

Share this on: